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Extreme expedition: Anthrax Island

At the center of one of the world's worst man-made ecological disasters -- the now almost nonexistent Aral Sea, a dusty, forbidding graveyard for beached ships -- is one of the world's deadliest islands. Vozrozhdeniya Island, as it's actually called, or Anthrax Island, as it's more colloquially known, is the site of a former Soviet bio-weapons testing site, which was abandoned (along with the town that surrounded it, which once housed some thousands of bio-weapons workers and their families) in the 90s after more than 50 years of open-air testing of nasty things like plague, Ebola virus and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. They were tested on animals and birds which were supposedly downwind from the town -- though there must have been some unexpected changes in the breeze once in a while -- and supposedly there are leaking vats of notoriously long-lasting anthrax buried around the island (no one knows exactly how many or exactly where).

As horrible as that all sounds to most of us, to some, it's irresistible -- the combination of a mysterious facility and an abandoned ghost town all housed on a forbidding island which is itself in the midst of a vast man-made wasteland was apparently so cool that one British TV host couldn't resist going -- and bringing his camera crew with him. This fascinating 10-minute video documents his day-trip to this bizarre place, and it's pretty darn cool.

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Mister Rogers Is Now a Funko Pop! and It’s Such a Good Feeling, a Very Good Feeling
Amazon
Amazon

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood for fans of Mister Rogers, as Funko has announced that, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the kindest soul to ever grace a television screen will be honored with a series of Funko toys, some of them limited-edition versions.

The news broke at the New York Toy Fair, where the pop culture-loving toy company revealed a new Pop Funko! in Fred Rogers’s likeness—he’ll be holding onto the Neighborhood Trolley—plus a Mister Rogers Pop! keychain and a SuperCute Plush.

In addition to the standard Pop! figurine, there will also be a Funko Shop exclusive version, in which everyone’s favorite neighbor will be wearing a special blue sweater. Barnes & Noble will also carry its own special edition, which will see Fred wearing a red cardigan and holding a King Friday puppet instead of the Neighborhood Trolley.

 

Barnes & Noble's special edition Mister Rogers Funko Pop!
Funko

Mister Rogers’s seemingly endless supply of colored cardigans was an integral part of the show, and a sweet tribute to his mom (who knitted all of them). But don’t go running out to snatch up the whole collection just yet; Funko won’t release these sure-to-sell-out items until June 1, but you can pre-order your Pop! on Amazon right now.

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